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January 05, 2018


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A leotard is essentially a bathing suit. How can one dress more provocatively than that? Regardless, not all forms of provocation are appreciated equally. It depends upon the buyer. However, if a worker crosses the line by engaging inappropriately with an employer, this stands as grounds for termination. The onus falls on employee and employer alike. The disparity in power places an employer's actions under greater scrutiny, something that contributes towards better compensation. A leader has the intelligence and maturity to resist the potential machinations of inappropriate actors and stands as an exemplar for decorum. Failing this litmus test invites disaster.

Who knows if Peter Martins committed any of the vague acts alleged against him? What is certain is that inappropriate behaviour is grounds for termination regardless of party.

As to an employer following his employees social media feed, it is inappropriate mostly because of the existing power disparity. Prime example: Macaulay's disgusting flirting with corps men on Instagram. And since 2011, NYCB has instituted clear guidelines for social media posting:


A true leader would only follow his employee's postings to determine how they impact the company.

Regarding your last sentence: True, and in trying to monitor employees' postings where the employee capitalizes on her/his employer's name recognition, institution, and integrity, the employer comes across the employee who is selling her T&A to anyone who will stop by to gaze at them, is he supposed to "un-see" it or refuse to view when others make a big ordeal about it? There are women in NYCB who know exactly what they are doing, are doing it under the guise of free speech which they think entitles them to say and do anything they want regardless of the impact on their employer.

Regarding leotards -- oh yeah, some are more provocative than others.

Sleeping with the boss might, or might not, get you a role/raise/promotion, but if you don't bring the goods in the eyes of others, you won't be a success.
Your post merely casts doubt over any woman's success.

Hardly, Julia. It casts doubt over the widely promoted claim that ballerinas got better opportunities because they had sex with the boss. Where are the names? Where's the proof? It doesn't seem to matter.


There is a clear class difference emerging in the responses to the whole #metoo phenomenon.

Not sure if you've ever heard of her, but one Addie Collins Zinone recently surfaced for her 15 minutes, in an interview with Megyn Kelly, about her awful experience with Matt Lauer. (I'm being sarcastic, which I'm told doesn't work on the Internet.)

I didn't see the interview, but I read about it in three different places. By chance, I happened to read the Today show's FB account, which has comments. There were many. And guess what - 95% of them were from women, and 95% of those were critical of Zinone. I call them "Facebook mommies." They are all married women, mostly working class, and they called her BS out loud and clear. It was consensual, in fact, she flirted quite vigorously. The FB mommies were harshly critical of Zinone for betraying Lauer's wife (Zinone wasn't married at the time), and for talking about it now (why? for her 15 minutes, no other reason). They were very harsh on her and had no truck with the "power imbalances" line.

Intrigued, I looked up accounts of the interview in WaPo and Variety, and the comments were very different. Every comment sounded as if they were manufactured with an algorithm from a radical women's studies app.

But I'm afraid that the common sense of the working class Facebook mommies won't be heard here. It's always the ruling class who hogs the limelight, or airwaves. #Metoo was on the cover of every magazine I saw at the radiologist's yesterday morning, not the sensible commenters of Facebook who pointed out that Zinone and Lauer had a consensual relationship.

Sexual assault is never ok, and should never be rationalized into anything other than what it is, assault. Sexual harassment by a boss or supervisor leveraged by the added power of economic blackmail is equally as unacceptable and has no place in any professional environment. HOWEVER, sexuality has been used as a tool, a device, a technique to gain power by BOTH SEXES ever since Cleopatra wiggled her asp at Marc and Julius. This is a social issue men AND women share. And when 53% of the white women of the US who voted, voted for Trump, it communicates to the society that they are ok with p**y-grabbing, and with a powerful man who brags about it being President. So why would that social approval by women not apply in kind to the administration of the NYCB? WE, not just men share this problem.

Gstavella, very interesting and lucid points.

Diana, you may be on to something with regard to the class difference. But I think there is a very real generational difference, too. The generation that fought and won real gains for women in the '60s and '70s, while standing on the strong shoulders of their mothers who had to fight for the right to vote, don't seem to have a strong presence in this current #MeToo campaign either as participants or supporters.

While animals like Weinstein should certainly be taken down, the movement seems to be attacking every set of balls that it can find and then basking in zealous self-congratulations. What does it say about women if they disregard the facts, the truth, and reality in order to promote their causes?

Even in the wake of the tragic fall-out of the NYCB situation, we have yet to see one single solitary iota of proof that sexual harassment or abusive workplace practices were present, let alone institutionalized.

What these dancers think of as abuse would be laughed at in most every other work place. They want people to think of them as the equivalent of professional athletes, but they can't accept an nth of the discipline, criticism, or professional expectations that elite professional athletes do.

Part of this is our generation's fault, too. We raised these kids to have such a sense of entitlement and with such thin skin that it's a wonder they've been able to survive.


You took the words right out of Daphne Merkin's mouth:


Read it.

About pro athletes, I worked for a major sports agent once ...When little Johnny Clifford complained that big bad Peter Martins actually punched a wall above his head, I had two reactions: first, concern about Peter's hand and second, BFD.

Speaking of the older generation, Billie Jean King said at the presser before the Riggs match: "Pressure is a privilege."


Imagine our dancer-athletes going through something like this while being hit by the stick:


or LOL, this:


Hello, real world.

From the Merkin article: "the reflexive and unnuanced sense of outrage"

That hits the nail right on the head.

The rise of social media doesn't help. It favors ideas that are short, easy to consume, and frequently out of context. Nuance goes right out the window.

It truly is unfortunate. As a left-leaning person myself, I would like for society to move towards more equality and fairness. But that cuts both ways in terms of the accuser and the accused. Victims should have the ability to report abuse or harassment without fear of retaliation. The accused should have the ability to defend themselves without the presumption of guilt.

A friend of mine worked at a security company in 2004, and ended up a victim of workplace harassment. Her supervisor repeatedly kept asking her out even after she declined him multiple times. According to her, she tried her best to handle the situation professionally. Whenever he wanted to speak with her, she would suggest a place where many people can see them, like the break room. The guy ended up getting more aggressive, and tried to talk to her by her car in the parking lot. She finally reported the him to HR, and he retaliated by giving her the least desirable shifts even though she had more seniority than some of her other co-workers. She reported this behavior again, but the company did nothing. She was then blocked by this guy from receiving a particular type of training that she needed to qualify for a promotion (that would put her in the same status as her harasser, and she would no longer have to answer to him). She reported this, and again the company did nothing. She decided enough was enough, and quit. HR asked her if she was thinking about suing. She said no, and they never contacted her again. I asked her why she didn't and she said she didn't want to have the albatross around her neck of being the woman who sues employers. She didn't want to risk never getting hired again. She just decided to move on. Of course, this is just one anecdote, but injustices like this make my blood boil. I do understand the emotional undercurrent in the #MeToo crowd, but leaving a series of ruined lives and careers in the wake of vague or unfounded accusations is just as infuriating.

yukionna, true what you say.

I think Makumba looks very svelte, and isn't carrying an extra ounce of weight. That's really what weight in dance - or any athletic endeavor - is about. Carrying the proper amount of weight, no more - and no less.

On that note, I just saw a documentary about the National Ballet of Cuba's school, and at one point the teachers fretted about some of the students' heaviness. It's an issue wherever there are dancers, or athletes, and it has zero to do with gender. There are no more obsessed about weight athletes than jockeys.

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